A-B-C: Always Be Closing

Closing a game, skate to throat style.   Two years ago, us Wings fans never had to deal with Detroit letting a game slip through their grasp.  Up in the third?  Might as well turn the TV off, Wings are gunna win it.  Hell, the opposing team might never even have the puck in the last ten minutes or so. 

But since the Hossa debacle, that tendency has changed.  Now, it’s more: “We’re up? Ok, time to take it easy, see what our goaltender can do for us.”

The Wings are so good in net nowadays that sometimes that’s enough.  See the Montreal game from last week: Wings up 3-1 going into the third, somehow hang on despite being outshot 17-3 in the final period thanks to Jimmah(!)’s heroics.  

Last night was another example.  Wings played decent enough, and took advantage of their opportunities and were up 2-0 in the first and 3-2 until late in the game.  Skate to throat?  Waited for it, but it never came.  And unfortunately for Ozzie, Dallas was able to squeak one in past him in the final minutes and then again in OT. 

Puck Daddy had a good article today (along with another piece of trash article as well, we will get to that later) regarding leads going into the third.  Only in 18 percent of games will a team come back from a third period deficet to win. 

When leading after two, Detroit is 13-0-2.  While only 16th in the league, that’s not bad.  Last year they were 20th in the league, pretty terrible.  The year before, during Hossa’s debacle, they were 24th in the league. They are simply too good to let games get away from them when it’s in their control. 

Skate to throat.  Bring it back.